Imatges de pàgina
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Val. Thy folly's cause enough.

Br. Rail not at folly-
There's but one wise,
And him the gods have kill'd.

Val. Kill'd! Whom?

Br. Behold!
Oh, sight of pity !-Majesty in ruins !
Down on your knees—down to your kingly idol !

Val. I.et slaves and sycophants do that; not.I.
Br. Wilt thou not kneel?

Val. Begone;
Valerius kneels not to the living Tarquin.

Br. Indeed !-Belike you wish him laid as low.
Val. What if I do?

Br. Jove tells thee what to do
Strike !-Oh! the difference 'twixt Jove's wrath and

thine!
He, at the crowned tyrant aims his shaft,
Thou, mighty man, would'st frown a fool to silence,
And spurn poor Brutus from thee

Val. What is this?
Let me look nearer at thee. Is thy mind,
That long lost jewel, found, -and Lucius Junius,
Dear to my heart, restored? or art thou Brutus,
The scoff and jest of Rome, and this a fit
of intermittent reason ?

Br. I am Brutus.
Folly, be thou my goddess! I am Brutus,
I thou wilt use me so !-If not, farewell.
Why dost thou pause ? Look on me! I have limbs,
Parts and proportions, shoulders strong to bear,
And hands not slow to strike. What more than Brutus
Could Lucius Junius do?

Val. A cause like ours
Asks both the strength of Brutus and the wisdom
Oi Lucius Junius.

Br. No more. We're interrupted.

Val. Farewell. Hereafter we'll discourse,
And may the gods confirm the hope you've raised!

[Exit VALERIUS, R. Br. [Alone] My soul expands ! my spirit swells

within me,
As if the glorious moment were at hand !
Sure this is Sextus-why has he left the camp ?
Alone-and muffled !

Enter Sextus, wrapped in a mantle, R. V. E. and

crosses to L. Welcome, gentle prince !

Sex. Ha! Brutus here !-Unhoused amid the storm ? Br. Whence com’st thou, prince? from battle? from

the camp? Sex. Not from the camp, good Brutus-from Col

latia-
The camp of Venus,-not of Mars, good Brutus,

Br. Ha!
Sex. Why dost thou start ?-thy kinswoman, Lu.

cretia-
Br. [Eagerly.] Well-what of her? speak !

Sex. Ay, I will speak,-
And I'll speak that shall fill thee with more wonder,
Than all the lying oracle declar'd.

Br. Nay, prince, not so; you cannot do a deed
To make me wonder.

Sex. Indeed ! Dost think it? Then let me tell thee, Brutus,—wild with passion For this famed matron,-though we met but once,-Last night I stole in secret from the camp, Where, in security, I left her husband. She was alone. I said affairs of consequence •Had brought me to Collatia. She received me As the king's son, and as her husband's friend Br. [Apart.] Patience, oh heart !-a moment longer,

patience!
Sex. When midnight came, I crept into her chamber
Br. [Apart.] Inhuman monster!

Sex. Alarm'd aud frantic,
She shriek'd out “ Collatinus ! Husband! Help!”
A slave rush'd in- I sprung upon the caitiff,
And drove my dagger through his clamorous throat;
Then, turning to Lucretia, now half dead
With terror, swore, by all the gods at once,
If she resisted, to the heart I'd stab her;
Yoke her fair body to the dying slave!
And fix pollution to her name for ever!

Br. And-and- -the matron ?-
Sex. Was mine!
Br. [With a burst of frenzy.] The furies curse you,

then ! Lash you with snakes !
When forth you walk may the red, flaming sun
Strike you with livid plaguas ! -

Vipers, that die not slowly, knaw your heart !
Máy earth be to you but one wilderness !
May you hate yourself
For death pray hourly, yet be in tortures
Millions of years expiring !

Sex. Amazement ! What can mean this sudden frenzy?

Br. What ? Violation ! Do we dwell in dens, In cavern'd rocks ; or amongst men in Rome?

[Thunder and lightning become very violent. Hear the loud curse of Heaven ! 'Tis not for nothing The thunderer keeps this coil above your head !

[Points to the fragments of the statue. Look on that ruin! See your father's statue Unhorsed and headless! Tremble at the omen !

Sex. This is not madness, Ha! my dagger lost!Wretch ! thou shalt not escape me. Ho! a guard! The rack shall punish thee ! A guard, I say!

[Exit Sextus. Br. [Alone.] The blow is struck ! The anxious

messages
To Collatinus and his friends explain'd,
And now, Rome's liberty or loss is certain !
I'll hasten to Collatia -join my kinsmen-
To the moon folly! Vengeance, I embrace thee!

[Exit BRUTUS.

SCENE II.- An Apartment in the house of Collatinus.

COLLATINUS enters wildly, a bloody dagyer in his hand, followed by VALERius and LUCRETIUS, R. Col. "She's dead. Lucretia's dead! I pluck'd this

steel From my Lucretia's heart! This is her blood ! Howl, howl, ye men of Rome. Look! there she lies, That was your wonder. Ye mighty gods, where are your thunders now ? Ye men and warriors, have you human hearts ? But who shall dare to mourn her loss like me!

Enter BRUTUS. Br. I dare,-and so dare every honest Roman, Luc. Whence comes this mad intrusion ? Hence

begone! • The scere which was omitted after the first representation, and for which this introductory speech of Collatinus is substituted, will be found in a note at the end of the play.

Br. The noble spirit fled : How died Lucretia ?
l'al. By her own hand she died !

Br. Heroic matron!
Now, now the hour is come! By this oue blow
Her name's immortal, and her country saved !

[Crosses to c. Hail! dawn of glory! [Snatching the dagger.] Hail,

thou sacred weapon!
Virtue's deliverer, hail!
Hear, Romans, hear! did not the Sibyl tell you
A fool should set Rome free? I am that fool;
Brutus bids Rome be free !

[Crosses to L. Val. What can this mean?

Br. It means that Lucius Junius has torown off
The mask of madness, and his soul rides forth
On the destroying whirlwind, to avenge
The wrongs of that bright excellence and Rome!

Luc. Can this be Lucius Junius ?

Vul. Ha! The voice
Of inspiration speaks !

Col. Oh, glorious Brutus,
Let me in tears adore the bounteous gods
Who have restored thee to redress my woes;
And, in my woes, my country!

Br. No more of this.
Stand not in wonder. Every instant now
Is precious to your cause. Rise! Snatch your arms!

(Brutus kneels. Hear me, great Jove! and thou, paternal Mars, And spotless Vesta ! To the death I swear My burning vengeance shall pursue these Tarquins ! Ne'er shall my limbs know rest till they are swept From off the earth, which groans beneath their infamy ! This, from the bottom of my soul I swear !

[He rises Valerius, Collatine, Lucretius,-allHere, I adjure ye by this fatal dagger, All stain’d and reeking with her sacred blood, Be partners in my oath, revenge her fall!

All. We swear !

Br. Well have ye said : ana, oh! methinks I see
The hovering spirit of the murder'd matron
Look down and bow her airy head to bless you !
Summon your slaves, and bear the body hence
High in the view, through all the streets of Rome,
Up to the Forum !-On! The least delay

May draw down ruin, and defeat our glory.
On, Romans, on! The fool shall set you free!

[Exeunt omnes.

SCENE III.-The Palace of Tullia.

Enter Flavius CORUXNA, L. in haste, meeting Ho

RATIUS, R.
Cor. My lord, my lord ! Quick, tell me, where is

Tullia ?
Hor. Whence this alarm ? what would'st thou ?
Cor. Rebellion rages-
Hor. Rebellion ?

Cor. Lucretia,
The wife of Collatinus, is no more.
The furious multitude have borne her body
With shouts of vengeance through the streets of Rome,
And Sextus Tarquin," is the general cry.

Hor. Where are thy troops ? why dost thou dally here, When thou should'st pay their insolence with death?

Cor. The soldiers join the throng—the gates are closed, And the mad crowd exclaim, “ We banish Tarquin.” Brutus is at their head, and leads them on.

Hor. What miracle is this? How sayst thou, Brut's ?
Cor. Ay, the fool Brutus. Now before the rostrum
The body of Lucretia is exposed,
And Brutus there harangues assembled Rome,
He waves aloft
The bloody dagger; all the people hear him
With wildest admiration and applause;
He speaks as if he held the souls of men
In his own hand, and moulded them at pleasure.
They look on him as they would view a god,
Who, from a darkness which invested him,
Springs forth, and, knitting his stern brow in frowns,
Proclaims the vengeful will of angry Jove.

Hor. Fly through the city ; gather all the force
You can assemble, and straight hasten hither.
l'll to the queen- Lose not a moment. Hence !
I tremble for Rome's safety !-haste-begone !

[ Exeunt ; HORATIO R., CORUNNA L.

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